Adam's Apple, Bara Nimbu, Bijapura, Citron Vert, Citronnier Vert, Citrus acida, Citrus aurantifolia, Citrus lima, Citrus limetta var. aromatica, Citrus medica var. acida, Huile de Lime, Italian Limetta, Key Lime, Lima, Lime Oil, Limette, Limettier, Limonia aurantifolia, Turanj.


Overview Information

Lime is a citrus fruit. The juice, fruit, peel, and oil are used to make medicine.

People use lime for scurvy, malaria, sickle cell disease, gastrointestinal disorders, vaginal infections, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In cosmetics, lime oil is used as a fragrance component and as a "fixative".

How does it work?

Lime contains chemicals that seem to help prevent stones in the bladder or kidney. Other chemicals might kill parasites and viruses.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Low levels of healthy red blood cells (anemia) due to iron deficiency. Drinking one liter of lime juice per day for 6 days weekly for 8 months doesn't appear to improve iron absorption in women with low iron levels.
  • Malaria. Early research shows that taking lime juice along with standard malaria medicine may help treat children with malaria better than taking malaria medicine alone.
  • Sickle cell disease. Early research shows that taking lime juice may help reduce episodes of pain and fever in children with sickle cell disease.
  • Quitting smoking. Early research shows that taking lime may help to reduce cravings in people trying to quit smoking.
  • A disease caused by vitamin C deficiency (scurvy).
  • Severe diarrhea (dysentery).
  • Nausea.
  • Killing germs on the skin.
  • Vaginal infections when used in the vagina.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of lime for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Lime is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when used in amounts found in foods. There isn't enough reliable information to know if lime is safe when used as a medicine or what the side effects might be.

When applied to the skin: Applying lime directly to the skin is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Some people are sensitive to lime when it is applied directly to the skin. Lime can cause the skin to be very sensitive to the sunlight. Wear sunblock and protective clothing outside.

When placed in the vagina: Placing lime juice in the vagina is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Lime juice can be harmful to cells in the vagina and cervix. It can cause itching, burning, dryness, pain, and other symptoms.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if lime is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use of lime as medicine.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with LIME

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.
    Lime juice might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Drinking lime juice while taking some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of these medications. Before taking lime, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.
    Some medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.

  • Medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight (Photosensitizing drugs) interacts with LIME

    Some medications can increase sensitivity to sunlight. Lime oil might also increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Using lime oil along with medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight could increase the chances of sunburn, and blistering or rashes on areas of skin exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear sunblock and protective clothing when spending time in the sun.
    Some drugs that cause photosensitivity include amitriptyline (Elavil), Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), norfloxacin (Noroxin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), ofloxacin (Floxin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), gatifloxacin (Tequin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Septra), tetracycline, methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen, 8-MOP, Oxsoralen), and Trioxsalen (Trisoralen).



The appropriate dose of lime depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for lime. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Coffman, K., Boyce, W. T., and Hansen, R. C. Phytophotodermatitis simulating child abuse. Am.J Dis.Child 1985;139(3):239-240. View abstract.
  • Garcia, O. P., Diaz, M., Rosado, J. L., and Allen, L. H. Ascorbic acid from lime juice does not improve the iron status of iron-deficient women in rural Mexico. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 2003;78(2):267-273. View abstract.
  • Rodrigues, A., Brun, H., and Sandstrom, A. Risk factors for cholera infection in the initial phase of an epidemic in Guinea-Bissau: protection by lime juice. Am.J.Trop.Med.Hyg. 1997;57(5):601-604. View abstract.
  • Rodrigues, A., Sandstrom, A., Ca, T., Steinsland, H., Jensen, H., and Aaby, P. Protection from cholera by adding lime juice to food - results from community and laboratory studies in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. Trop.Med.Int.Health 2000;5(6):418-422. View abstract.
  • Wagner, A. M., Wu, J. J., Hansen, R. C., Nigg, H. N., and Beiere, R. C. Bullous phytophotodermatitis associated with high natural concentrations of furanocoumarins in limes. Am.J Contact Dermat. 2002;13(1):10-14. View abstract.
  • Weber, I. C., Davis, C. P., and Greeson, D. M. Phytophotodermatitis: the other "lime" disease. J Emerg.Med 1999;17(2):235-237. View abstract.
  • Adegoke SA, Oyelami OA, Olatunya OS, Adeyemi LA. Effects of lime juice on malaria parasite clearance. Phytother Res. 2011;25(10):1547-50. View abstract.
  • Adegoke SA, Shehu UA, Mohammed LO, Sanusi Y, Oyelami OA. Influence of lime juice on the severity of sickle cell anemia. J Altern Complement Med. 2013;19(6):588-92. View abstract.
  • Assarian Z, Nixon RL. Protein contact dermatitis caused by lime in a pastry chef. Contact Dermatitis. 2015;73(1):54-6. View abstract.
  • Bailey DG, Dresser GK, Bend JR. Bergamottin, lime juice, and red wine as inhibitors of cytochrome P450 3A4 activity: comparison with grapefruit juice. Clin Pharmacol Ther 2003;73:529-37. View abstract.
  • Bamise CT, Dinyain VE, Kolawole KA. Dental erosion due to lime consumption; review of literature and case report. East Afr J Public Health. 2009;6(2):141-3. View abstract.
  • Chariyavilaskul P, Poungpairoj P, Chaisawadi S, et al. In vitro anti-lithogenic activity of lime powder regimen (LPR) and the effect of LPR on urinary risk factors for kidney stone formation in healthy volunteers. Urolithiasis. 2015;43(2):125-34. View abstract.
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at:
  • Flugman SL. Mexican beer dermatitis: a unique variant of lime phytophotodermatitis attributable to contemporary beer-drinking practices. Arch Dermatol. 2010;146(10):1194-5. View abstract.
  • Galvañ-Pérez Del Pulgar JI, Linares-Barrios M, Galvañ-Pozo JI Jr. Acropigmentation of the dorsum of the hands from preparing mojitos: A lime-induced phytophotodermatosis. Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2016;107(3):253-5. View abstract.
  • Hemmerling A, Potts M, Walsh J, Young-Holt B, Whaley K, Stefanski DA. Lime juice as a candidate microbicide? An open-label safety trial of 10% and 20% lime juice used vaginally. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2007;16(7):1041-51. View abstract.
  • Mauck CK, Ballagh SA, Creinin MD, et al. Six-day randomized safety trial of intravaginal lime juice. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2008;49(3):243-50. View abstract.
  • Mioduszewski M, Beecker J. Phytophotodermatitis from making sangria: a phototoxic reaction to lime and lemon juice. CMAJ. 2015;187(10):756. View abstract.
  • Naganuma M, Hirose S, Nakayama Y, et al. A study of the phototoxicity of lemon oil. Arch Dermatol Res 1985;278:31-6. . View abstract.
  • Roesyanto-Mahadi ID, Geursen-Reitsma AM, van Joost T, et al. Sensitization to fragrance materials in Indonesian cosmetics. Contact Dermatitis 1990;22:212-7. View abstract.
  • Rungruanghiranya S, Ekpanyaskul C, Sakulisariyaporn C, Watcharanat P, Akkalakulawas K. Efficacy of fresh lime for smoking cessation. J Med Assoc Thai. 2012;95 Suppl 12:S76-82. View abstract.
  • Swerdlin A, Rainey D, Storrs FJ. Fragrance mix reactions and lime allergic contact dermatitis. Dermatitis. 2010;21(4):214-6. View abstract.
  • Tosukhowong P, Kulpradit P, Chaiyarit S, et al. Lime powder treatment reduces urinary excretion of total protein and transferrin but increases uromodulin excretion in patients with urolithiasis. Urolithiasis. 2018;46(3):257-264. View abstract.
  • Tosukhowong P, Yachantha C, Sasivongsbhakdi T, et al. Citraturic, alkalinizing and antioxidative effects of limeade-based regimen in nephrolithiasis patients. Urol Res. 2008;36(3-4):149-55. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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